Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities in Syria to come into effect on 27 February

Feb 23, 2016 15:17 IST

United States and Russia on 22 February 2016 announced to have reached an Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities in Syria that will come into effect on 27 February 2016.

The announcement was made by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as co-chairs of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) Ceasefire Taskforce.

The agreement said that the group would work to "develop procedures" to ensure those abiding by the deal are not attacked by Russian armed forces or a US-led coalition both of which are carrying out air strikes in the country.

It also said that the truce did not include so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front. Thus, the air strikes by Syria, Russia and the US-led coalition against ISIS, Nusra and other terrorist organisations designated by the UN would continue.

The agreement was welcomed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who said that, if respected, the agreement would constitute a significant step forward in the implementation of Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015).

The Resolution 2254 gave the UN an enhanced role in shepherding the opposing sides to talks for a political transition, endorsing a timetable for a ceasefire, a new constitution and elections.
So far more than 2 lakhs 50 thousands Syrians have been killed in the conflict which began in March 2011.

Meanwhile, Syria's government led by President Bashar al-Assad has called for a parliamentary election on 13 April 2016. Assad issued a decree, which included seat allocations for each of the provinces in Syria, which last held parliamentary elections in May 2012.

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